As life trundles on I find myself adopting attitudes I have failed miserably to avoid that represented the very few negatives of my late parents persona. I have always been keen to be accepting of modern ways life and the innovation brought about by modern youth. However, life isn’t evolving the way I thought it would. No doubt my parents thought the same? Having spent the majority of my adult life in a public service I find it hard to come to terms with how the world and people I thought were pillars of my community became so different in the private sector of their profession. Greed is gripping who were once great people and turning them into monsters.
The things I witnessed in science fiction novels and movies have become reality in my lifetime and I am scared for my children and grandchildren. I am disillusioned with so many people and elements of life that I take solace in the few people I trust and have come to love most dearly over the years.
Witnessing recent advances in AI and our reliance as a society on technology to survive is something else that brings out the grumpy old git in me. Mobile phone addiction is without doubt one of the biggest problems we have and yet it has been widely ignored. Many things take much longer because of this global pandemic, whether it is waiting to be served in a store or coffee shop to being treated in a hospital. Everyone is on their phone! I really am tired of walking down the pavement whilst out and about and answering people who I think are starting a conversation only to find it is someone else in a different location. The whole concept of people walking along the street engaged in conversation with themselves via their in ear devices and mobile phones is something is taking me time to come to terms with. I guess this is the modern way? I am also starting to wonder how long it will be before human beings are taking on a role as a John or Sarah Connor type figure and fighting the latest Cyberdyne Systems 101 terminator? It sounds silly doesn’t it? Yet in my youth should someone have told be that people could type messages to their friend and family via a telephone without a wire or that we could attack people in other countries with unmanned drones armed with cameras and sophisticated weaponry I would have laughed and shook my head. Or that someone so full of hate could fly planes into buildings would yet again be a work of fiction.
Am I totally despondent with today’s young folks? The answer is a resounding no. For all the ills in the world I believe that so many young folks are genuinely good at heart and respectful. I was recently in a bar on the East side of New York and had the pleasure of chatting to some great young folks in there who were enjoying a basketball tournament on the TV. One of them started to chat with me about music having noticed a t-shirt I was wearing at the time. As I was trying to be mindful not to bore him half to death with tales of yore it became evident that he and his friends became interested in the bands and artist I was telling them about and in turn I found myself intrigued by their music and philosophy. I had literally called in for a beer and a bite to eat as I was on my own and yet made to feel so welcome and listened to! I feel that my life is at the moment caught in the transition of new and old orders and though I struggle with it I have to accept that some things that drive me nuts have to be accepted as the modern way. I hope I am doing OK?
There have been some positive events this year so far, thought it must be said, they were spent with people of my own age. Attending Winters End festival many miles from my home in Chepstow was one of them. I managed to chat with many folks I know only through social media and some I haven’t seen for a while. Chatting to Peter Vink of Knight Area was an absolute pleasure as was meeting many of my fellow Progzilla Radio presenters for the first time outside of a Zoom meeting. A great event with great people involved which managed to restore a little faith in the world. Another great event was the annual NEBO (North East Bake Off) that I organise every year for audio enthusiasts. A day of some great characters (all of whom are a privilege to know) who get together with an assortment of audio/Hi-Fi equipment and play some great music. I am already planning next years event which is always a challenge. What I enjoyed about both of these events is that neither of them moved at the same pace as the world we actually live in, one which I am far too slow to be in! What made these two events such a joy for me was that no hint of greed or selfishness was involved by any of the participants, no commerce or self gain involved, just the want by all to enjoy themselves and each others company. I do often think that in my mind especially with my love of music I reside in a splinter group within a broken world. As a I get older and more sceptic that escapism has become my main tool of survival. It also helps to be around the right people and feed from more positive vibes. I guess as far as that is concerned I am for the best part fortunate though I suspect that I won’t reach true fulfillment until I retire and shed the profession I have been in most of my life and now have to witness the greed and selfish side of people who until the past few years i admired for their skill and what I thought was compassion. In Progisms the Progmeister will then lie down on Broadway and have a richer quality of existence.